Future Defences

Future defence options for Pevensey Bay were examined in an Agency study in the mid 1990s. The document, which examined options from doing nothing through to such structures as rock islands, concluded that it was possible to defend Pevensey Bay for the foreseeable future. This level or defence could prevent the Levels from becoming again a permanent salt marsh. It would not guarantee protection against temporary breaches or overtopping of the defences at any location. Although most of the options studied would do the job, the preferred option has to comply with strict economic guidelines. These guidelines require that the costs of such a scheme must be exceeded by the potential flood damage thereby avoided. The Strategic Study for Pevensey Bay concluded that an 'open shingle beach' solution would satisfy these economic criteria whilst other options involving large rock groyne structures could not be justified.

Against this, it must be remembered that it is impossible to stop all flooding. Pevensey Bay although well defended will always beat some risk from both overtopping and breach of the defences.

In addition to this the Government requested that the Agency look at the possibility of providing sea defences through a private financial initiative. It was following this that the Agency selected Pentium Coastal Defence Ltd to manage the sea defences for the Agency for 25 years at a cost of £30 million.

In summary the future defences at Pevensey Bay will be managed as a more open beach with fewer groynes. Pentium will carry out periodic shingle replenishments, the maintenance of some strategic groynes and beach profiling during and after storms

Updated: Saturday, October 4, 2014 8:59